Are Brine Shrimp Indestructible?

It is known that dormant brine shrimp cysts can survive most any conditions, whether it be extreme weather, a violent environment, or even outer space. However, are adult brine shrimp as durable?

A few months ago, Erin, one of our lab technicians at Algae Research Supply, performed an experiment on our Brainy Brinys. She wondered what would happen if she launched adult brine shrimp in a model rocket. Would the brine shrimp survive the force? 

So, Erin and her model rocket team brought a 50mL centrifuge tube full of algae and brine shrimp to their rocket launch, wrapped the tube in protective gear (bubble wrap), and set for launch. The team used an F50-6T motor, meaning the motor is of the F class, has an 80 newton-second impulse, and deploys a parachute 6 seconds after launching.

The team loaded the rocket on the launch pad, hoping for the best, but not knowing what to expect. They launched the rocket, watching it rapidly ascend to the sky. The rocket’s descent was smooth, and, once it was safe, the team went to collect their rocket. 

The altimeter read out that the rocket reached apogee (its peak) at 1,000 feet. After the motor was removed, the team worked to remove the centrifuge tube from the rocket and bubble wrap. 

The Brine shrimp were still swimming in their habitat, appearing to have no damage from the intense ride they had. Brine shrimp may not be indestructible, but they are incredibly tough.


Erin F. Fox, 2019